If you are looking for tiles that have the best water resistance, then porcelain has to be your choice. Porcelain tiles have the lowest water absorption rate of any time. Their water resistance is such they can be used as edging tiles around swimming pools.
You can find other tile types that are water resistant, however, most owe their water resistance to sealants that are applied either after the tiles have been cut or after the tiles have been laid. Natural stone is porous by nature so long-term water exposure can cause problems. Granite tiles are a good example. They are one of the harder natural stones, and they do have a natural water resistance, however, it is not as good as porcelain, so a sealant is required to prevent that long-term damage.
Ceramic tiles are also water resistant, being from the same family as porcelain (actually, porcelain is part of the ceramics family). Of the two, porcelain tile is harder and has a lower water absorption factor than ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles are still a good choice for bathrooms and kitchens, and for many outdoor applications.
One factor that is worth noting when it comes to waterproof tiles – whilst the tiles may have a low-water absorption factor, your grout will not. If water is an issue, for example, around a swimming pool, then you need to use an appropriate grout with a grout sealant applied. It’s no good having water-resistant porcelain tiles if your grout is going to let in a lot of water – it’s the complete finish that needs to be water resistant.
Need advice on water-resistant tiles? Come and chat with one of our tile experts at Éco Dépôt. We can show you our range of porcelain tiles and advise you on the best way to lay them, including the most appropriate grout and sealants.